Friday, January 20, 2012

Identifying the mystery graves...

The cemeteries on the ranch have been all but forgotten in the intervening since the last person was laid to rest in 1920. While the fences were maintained, the identities and stories behind the individuals were lost for so many years. In reconstructing the ranch's history, I've been able to put together a few of the memories of their lives, and only wondered about so many others. Hours of research every day turned up the answer to a new mystery today!

In the Three Forks (or Gardner) cemetery, two small natural granite stones, uncarved and unmarked, sit at the eastern end, under an aspen tree. Some surmised they were two infants, or perhaps a headstone and foot stone. A newspaper article from 1915 might hold the key to this grave's identity, lost and forgotten for nearly 100 years:

Steamboat Pilot, July 28, 1915, page 8
John N. Lane Succumbs to Heart Disease in Lonely Cabin
Friday morning John N. Lane left his brother’s home at Three Forks to go to his cabin about a half a mile away. He seemingly was in good health and spirits. He was building a cabin on his homestead and his brother thought nothing of it when he did not return during the day.
In the evening the brother, Frank Lane, became worried and went to the cabin. His brother was lying face downward on the floor and had been dead for some time. Coroner Bashor and Dr. Kernaghan were called and pronounced the death due to neuralgia of the heart, from which he long had been a sufferer. Burial was at Three Forks Sunday.
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I wish there was a way to know for sure!

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